116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The Linn County Board of Supervisors will meet Wednesday to decide where $11 million of its total $44 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding will go.
During Wednesday’s formal meeting, supervisors will decide which of around 120 projects from over 90 groups to fund with this first allocation of ARPA dollars.
The county has already allocated $11 million to itself for lost revenue and administrative costs, a category allowed under the ARPA rules.
The county has received over $75 million in requests so far. County staff has checked ARPA eligibility for all of the applications and the board will consider comments from public forums held in 2021 as well.
For this first round, the board plans to distribute $5.5 million toward requests relating to social services, public health, affordable housing and capital investment and the other $5.5 million toward sewer and water infrastructure.
During Monday’s work session, Board of Supervisors’ Chair Ben Rogers presented a proposed list of organizations to fund with $5.5 million in the first round that fall within the first category that includes social services, public health, affordable housing and capital investment.
Another $5.5 million will go toward sewer and water infrastructure applications, but no proposed list was presented. Rogers said he is using Monday afternoon and Tuesday to review those applications.
“How lucky are we to have 44 million dollars come in and impact our community in ways we certainly couldn’t anticipate?” Rogers asked during the Monday meeting.
No organizations or members of the public participated in public comment at Monday’s meeting.
Together We Achieve: $3,650 for Hot Meals for All
LULAC/NAACP: $17,460 for Immigrant and Refugee Community Gardens Project
Kids First Law Center: $20,000 for Advocacy for Children of High-Conflict Divorce
Together We Achieve: $23,980 for 12k in 2022 Food Box Giveaway
LBA Foundation: $35,450 for CR Dreams Expansion
Discovery Living: $50,000 for healthy, safe homes for individuals with intellectual disabilities
Horizons: $50,000 for Neighborhood Transportation Service
Linn County Community Services: $53,645 for Innovative Offers for New Safeguards (OPTIONS)
Ecumenical Community Center Foundation: $60,000 for Just Getting There ARPA Boost/Helping Hands Ministry
Linn County Community Services: $70,000 for Linn County Housing Equity Needs Study and Assessment
Willis Dady Homeless Services: $75,000 toward its three applications
Feed Iowa First: $100,000 for expanding land access and increasing local food production
NewBo City Market: $100,000 for expanding the hatchery for entrepreneurship equity
Kids First Law Center: $100,000 for Restorative Justice Prevents Youth Violence
Aging Services: $145,000 for Kingston Hill Residential Care Facility flooring replacement
HACAP: $150,000 for Linn County Affordable Housing Expansion
Linn County Public Health: $200,000 for My Care Community Coordinated Community Response
Horizons: $240,000 for Meals on Wheels
Arc: $250,000 for better access, inclusion and recreation for our community
Gutschmidt Properties: $250,000 for Missing Middle Affordable Housing Jumpstart
Indian Creek Nature Center: $250,000 toward farmer education workshop and increased accessibility
Linn County Food Systems Council: $250,000 for Food Access, Resilience and Equity Grant Program
Matthew 25: $250,000 for Healthy homes and food
Eastern Iowa Health Center: $500,000 for increasing access and opportunity to COVID-19 education, vaccinations and general medicine for underserved Linn County populations program
Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation: $605,315 for comprehensive gun violence reduction
Boys/Girls Club: $750,500 for Unlocking The Future initiative
Foundation 2 Crisis Services: $900,000 for headquarters facility
Rogers said applicants who don’t receive money in the first round will automatically be considered in the second round with a larger funding pool.
Larger items will be more seriously considered later this year when they distribute the other $22 million they expect to get in June.
“For organizations that may not see their name on Wednesday being approved, it doesn’t mean their applications were not worthy,” Rogers said. “We are playing with a smaller amount of dollars in round one. We will be able to fund more high-dollar amounts in round two.”
The largest ask, from the Cedar Rapids Public Library looking for $6 million for a new library on the west side of town, was not on Rogers’ proposed list. He said the project is intentionally in round two. Over 20 other requests asking for more than $1 million are on the county’s application list, as well.
The process has taken longer than initially expected due to the unexpected influx of more money: $53 million awarded to the state by the federal government to assist with Linn County’s long-term recovery from the August 2020 derecho.
“I know this process has taken a while,” said Darrin Gage, Linn County director of policy and administration . “We’ve been deliberate and we’ve taken our time… we’re making sure to make impactful awards.”
Cedar Rapids has been separately allocating some of its $28 million in ARPA funding, though the city and county also have a joint process.
“I know the city of Cedar Rapids made funding decisions before us,” Rogers added. “It really was because of the opportunity with the block grants… Now that we have clarity, we will finalize round one and quickly go into round two.”
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